The Pros And Cons Of Mascots

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As a student attending David Douglas High School, I do not hear many remarks about the vulgarity of our mascot: the Scotsman. Many Americans today tend to believe that some mascots, like our very own Scotsman, are disrespectful and should be changed. By focusing on the callousness of mascots, those Americans tend to overlook the benefits that these mascots reap, resulting in changed mascots of many prominent schools and professional teams. Although some opponents of these mascots deem them offensive, the fact is that preexisting mascots should not be changed, as they do no harm. A mascot is defined as an animal, person, or thing adopted by a group as its representative symbol and is supposed to bring good luck. However, many nonbelievers do…show more content…
Protesters against mascots with historical value often undervalue the symbolic nature of controversial mascots, overlooking the fact that mascots are truly a manifestation of prominent points in history: the good and the bad. Either way, they represent a memorable part of the past. Frank Cloutier, public relations director of the Saginaw Chippewas, expressed his beliefs during an interview, saying, “we've made that university our school of choice for Native Americans, because our tribal community is close by, so we can help support those Native students” (as cited in Lukas 12). By retaining the image of a Native American mascot, the university is able to educate students of the Chippewas’ history, implementing a pseudo-cross-culture exchange. In addition, Native students attending the university are able to foster a sense of belonging, which is common for a student-mascot bond. History is history: mascots with historical value do not bring back past conflicts to spill blood over; rather, they are grave reminders of our mistakes, ones that should not be…show more content…
With this controversy over mascots gaining intensity and focus, the majority of people feel that mascots are offensive because they portray racist images. In all honesty, an image is only racist to the eye of the beholder; racism is a subjective matter. Still, most controversial mascots were not intended to be seen as racist. The Florida Seminoles—a college football team—had to deal with this problem of representing an “insensitive and racist” mascot themselves. To alleviate the anger of those who blamed the team, they had to formally ask permission from the Seminole Tribe. According to Robert Andrew Powell, author of Florida State Can Keep Its Seminoles, written on the New York times says: “Support for Florida State is obvious at the Seminole Tribe's showcase Okalee Indian Village in Hollywood, Fla.” (14). Realizing the team meant no harm, the Seminole tribe agreed to the permission of using their tribe name as the college’s team name and continue to use their mascot. Thus, the use of such mascots is not, in fact, offensive to all Native Americans, but rather only to those who still harbor bitterness over the events of America’s colonial expansion westward, which occurred over two hundred years ago. Therefore, teams should be allowed to keep their Native American mascots, for they are not derogatory, but

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